Otago Volts opener Aaron Redmond provided the innings of the match but it was in vain as the Wellington Firebirds scraped home with a three-wicket win in both teams' opening match of the HRV Cup at the Basin Reserve here today.
Redmond smacked 82 from just 54 balls but Otago could not capitalise on his early fireworks as they posted 153 for six, a target which Wellington made hard work of on a good batting surface before Australian import Darren Wright hit the winning runs with two balls in hand.
The Volts were set for a big total after Redmond and Neil Broom (23) put on 94 for the second wicket in 89 balls but tight bowling from Darren Wright, who ended with the outstanding figures of two for 10 off four overs, and left-arm spinner Luke Woodcock (two for 23 off four) kept the visitors to a par score.
Among Redmond's four sixes were two astonishing shots - a one-handed heave which cleared the mid-wicket boundary by 30m and a pull shot from 1m outside off stump which soared out of the ground and down Adelaide Road.
Wellington would have been disappointed with their fielding effort, however, dropping four catches. Their English import, Luke Wright, was the culprit on three occasions.
Michael Pollard hit four sixes in a quickfire 32 while Stewart Rhodes anchored Wellington's chase with 49 from 53 balls, but they lost three wickets with the score at 124 as left-arm quick Neil Wagner (three for 29) created havoc by swinging the ball both ways.
The hosts were able to keep their composure, however, with Darren Wright and Dewayne Bowden seeing them home.